In chapter 21, we see 1 Samuel 8 come to pass. God told Israel what kind of king they would have when they rejected him as their commander and chief. (1 Samuel 8:11-18.)
Saul had forced men into his army (whoever doesn't come to
David started taking people to serve in the palace.
Solomon forced, or took many wives.
Ahab now takes the land to the point of murder to get it.
Also, here we see the State's claim to imminent domain, a throughly unscriptural doctrine. Even today, once the king (State) lays claim to a piece of property, they will go as far as to kill people to get it.
October 15, 2004. We live close enough to Skyline Drive, running across the top of the Blue Ridge Mountains, that we can see the cars on the drive from our front porch. The rest area at Dicky Ridge has some books about building the drive. Back in the 30s, the Feds confiscated the property from the private individuals who owned it, and forced them off the area. There are many sad stories of the injury and harm done by the Feds when the removed the land owners.
Naboth was a righteous man. He reconized that the law (v. 3) had priority over the desires of the king and even over his own personal desires. If he had said NO to the king, then turned around and sold the property to someone else, he would have been no better than the king.
Naboth believed God when God said the land does not belong to a person nor to a nation, but to God. IT is to be used to further his Kingdom because we are only passing through. (Leviticus 25:23, 24.)
Vv. 1, 2. Naboth refused to compromise the word of God for gain. God said it, and that settled it.
The land, according to the word of God, was not his to give away, sell nor make any kind of a deal that would remove it from his family. This law covers every area of life.
Children, the church, the family, &c. these things are not ours to give away or compromise on the word of God with.
"But Naboth: Look at what you could do. You can trade for something better. You can sell and repurchase something better, and even make a profit. There is no reason to be so stubborn on this matter. You can buy another piece of land to pass down to your children, and you will keep your own head. The State, king, is going to get it anyway. Give it to him, and stay alive."
The word of God is not a word of compromise to show us how to best spare our hides, or keep our pride. It is a word of commands, not a word of compromise or requests. It tells us how to please a holy God, not how to please man.
We are living in a day of AHAB IN CONTROL. Just compromise a little, and we will spare you. We do not care what God says, as long as we get what we want.
We must stand on God's word, though death be our lot. God give us determination to stand on your word, not on convenience.
Today, we would have a hard time seeing Naboth being in the right, for our thinking is so here and now oriented, stand on principle that costs us is unheard of.
Naboth's thinking was future oriented, v. 2, the inheritance of my fathers... This was the inheritance that was to be passed down to future generations.
We are to prepare for the future to serve and please God. The only inheritance we are leaving our children is a huge debt that was established to the good life in the here and now.
Naboth realized the future was secure only by him obeying the word of God, not in making a lot of money. The future is secure only to those wh do the principles of God's word.
October 15, 2004. It seems that the good American jobs are being "outsourced" to low wage countries, e.g., China, India. That outsourcing is God's judgment against a nation that turned from him, and has served the god of mammon for a couple of generations now.
Ahab knew the law as well as did Naboth, but his desire was to enjoy his every whim in the present.
We must realize the important thing is the future generations obeying and serving God, not in satisfying our whims at the expense of compromising God's word.
We also see the end result of covetousness. The inner spirit will come out if allowed to remain inside. In fact, whatever inner spirit is allowed to remain, will come out, whether the spirit of Christ, or the spirit of this world.
V. 3. The Lord forbid... This was not a matter between Naboth and Ahab. Rather, it was a matter between Naboth and the Lord, as is all matters, no matter how insignificant. Naboth knew God's word, recognized his responsibility, and tried to live accordingly.
V. 4. This is a sad state of affairs for King Ahab. Remember chapter 20. His 7,232 men had destroyed 254,000 men of the greatest army of his day, and here he cannot get the victory over his inner feelings.
What 1/4 of a million fighting men could not do, here his uncontrolled spirit does destroyed Ahab.
Alexander the Great conquered the world by the time he was 30, but died a drunk.
How many have been used by God to do great things, yet cannot get the victory over a cigarette, temper, lust, bitterness, pride, glory, gold or girls? Why does God use them? Why does God use people like Ahab? He shows the world that he is the one who gives victories, and his victories do not depend upon men, but he does work through people.
And it destroys them.
There is nothing wrong with desiring things as long as they are not things forbidden by God. Of course, if we would heed Paul and be content with such things as we have, it sure would solve a lot of our problems.
I suppose just about everything, every sin, is rooted in covetousness The love of money is the root of all evil is a true saying. Of course, the sin problem goes deeper pride. Notice that Jezebel was there to get to the root.
Jezebel took the covetousness, and carried it to its logical conclusion pride. "You are the king. You should be able to claim whatever you please."
Note: Naboth's refusal to the desires of the state was viewed (in fact was) as a threat to the state, and for the state to retain its power, it had to take the vineyard.
Any refusal by an individual to the desires of the State today is viewed the same as Jezebel viewed Naboth, it undermines the sovereign authority claimed by the State. Not only is the claim made by the IRS, but it is particularly back concerning the use of property, Naboth's vineyard. A great portion of the sovereign authority claimed by the State rests in its claim of sovereign immunity and imminent domain (confiscate land).
Jezebel sets about her wicked plans Ahab has never rejected the true God, but his pride allowed someone else to complete reject Him, so he could profit.
How many, even Christians, would not even consider stealing a car or stripping one, but will buy the stolen parts as long as someone else gets the blame.
If we keep that ungodly attitude, pride, lust, covetousness, rebellion, bitterness, unforgiveness, youi can rest assured here will be someone around to expose that attitude before the world.
Jezebel should have been saying, "Hon, look at the great victory the Lord gave over Syria. We should be satisfied with that."
V. 8. God instituted elders to prevent this very thing, but they reflected Ahab's attitude also. They wanted to please the king more than they wanted to please God.
Vv. 10, 13. Jezebel knew the law. She knew it took two witnesses to accomplish what she wanted, but she bent the law to her advantage. She misused the law against the righteous.
Vv. 15-17. Ahab knew the field had blood on it, but in his excitement, he thinks nothing of it as he goes to take possession of the bloody field.
Vv. 17, 18. Elijah is sent by the Lord to confront Ahab, as he did last time. Elijah had dropped out of site since Carmel. Maybe Ahab had assumed that Elijah was gone. I am sure he hoped he was.
V. 19. Hast thou killed...? Whether Ahab knew of his wife's activity to gain the field or not is beside the point. He knew the field was ill-gotten. And God holds him as guilty as though he himself had killed Naboth.
The elders did their part
The false witnesses did their part
The mob did its part
Ahab's wife did her part
But Ahab is guilty. He is the one that had the covetous heart.
He is the one who went to bed sulking and pouting.
He is the one who did not control his ambitions and attitude.
He is the one guilty of the murder.
I am sure we will be amazed in that day of the things of which we are guilty, of what our wrong attitude caused others to do. Now, Jezebel was not released from her responsibility, nor were the elders, witnesses nor mob. However, it was Ahab's pride and covetousness that caused the problem.
V. 20. O mine enemy...
The wicked see anyone who stands against their evil plans as an enemy, particularly those who stand on God's word to speak against the evil actions.
When the righteous cry out against the wicked, the righteous get the blame.
"Drug use would not be illegal if those fanatics did not
speak against it."
"You cannot legislate morality. What I am doing would not be wrong if you did not speak against it. So we will pass laws to prevent your speaking against what we are doing. Thus, rather than us being the lawbreaker, you are the lawbreaker."
Those who stand for righteousness are the enemies of those who desire to do evil, and the wicked have declared war against their enemies, those who seek to speak according to God's word.
Thus the State regards any dissenting voice against its evil plans as an enemy, and will treat the dissent accordingly. All kinds of laws to enforce "Political Correctness", as well as laws that give the State unlimited power over people and property. The enemies must be controlled, or they will cause rebellion.
The righteous are considered as and treated as enemies by those who have evil desires.
Some years ago (12/83), a Union Carbide plant in India, I believe, had a gas leak, in which 2,500 were killed, and many thousands injured. Union Carbide was blamed for the accident, rather than blaming the local employee who fled when he saw the leakage. He had time to shut the valve, but he fled for his own safety rather than face up to his responsibility. He should have been tried for 2,500 counts of murder, for he refused to do the job for which he was hired.
Hand guns every time a person is shot with one, there is a cry to outlaw them. The hand gun is not the problem. The problem lies with the one holding the gun. Deal with the shooters and murders with swift justice and the death penalty, and many shootings will stop.
The media paints the man who cries out against the wickedness of the State as the bad guy, the lunatic fringe or the "crazies" as they are called in the South.
V. 21ff. The score is being kept by the Lord himself. There is a judgment day coming when it will all be accounted for. God is going to completely erase Ahab's name for his guilt.
V. 25. Ahab worked wickedness, but his wife, Jezebel, stirred him up to do it. He was easily influenced by evil. However, this does show what kind of influence a women can have on her husband.
Here is a man God used to destroy 254,000 Syrians, yet he is completely controlled by his wicked wife. The strongest post is the post of the adviser:
1. Joseph advised Pharaoh.
2. Esther advised the king, as did Haman.
3. Rehoboam was advised wrongly.
V. 27. Ahab truly repents, but does not escape the results of his evil. He only puts off the day of judgment.
Notice that we have no record of any moral impurity about Ahab. Maybe he was fearful of his wife, so he did not dare take a chance of invoking her wrath against himself.